I'm fully ready to grab Ava, Tripp, and now Nancy and take them to the nearest karaoke bar. I have it all planned out. After the first round or four, we'll start with a little Ronstadt "You're No Good" to ease into the night. Next some Twain and Underwood. We'll cover Alanis when really plastered. And I've already figured out we can personalize the lyrics to Whitney's "It's Not Right but It's Okay" to go, "It turns out. Craig was making a fool of Nancy, ohhh."
So, Rafe, Nicole, Allie, and now Craig, expect some angry, drunken texts and screamy, sobbing phone calls around closing time. You've all been warned. Which is more courtesy than y'all cheaters deserve. *Mic drop*
Nope. Nope. Nope. Gotta pick that back up. I still have more Two Scooping to do!
But really, if Taylor Swift ever wants to earn a few extra bucks, she could certainly set up a kiosk in Horton Town Square and write songs for scorned (and soon-to-be spurned) Salemites. The list keeps on growing and growing. She'd make bank! With that...
Welcome aboard the Heartbreak Express, Nance. Please see Roman at the Brady Pub for your swag bag consisting of Kleenex, comfort food, a bottle of booze, a Louisville slugger, and a link to a playlist full of songs about cheating and heartbreaks. Oh. There'll be ugly crying, for sure, but at least there will be a lot of company. There's that nugget.
Wait! Should the show be rebranded, "Strays of our Lives?" There have been a lot of steppin' out storylines lately. Like, a lot-a lot. Too many? It doesn't take a Magic 8-Ball to answer that one. Look, I know cheating is Daytime 101. It's a staple. It's the thumpa-thumpa baseline playing throughout the genre, as there's always one going on. Sometimes two. Three or four, though? That's a ponder.
It's na´ve to think cheating storylines won't happen occasionally. Key word: occasionally. Three active ones hot on the heels of Sami's affair with Lucas and all the crazy things Philip did, believing Chloe was cheating, and, well, I'm spent.
Another ponder is, when everyone is straying left and right, why should we invest in Salem's couples anymore? Sure, we prop "ships" onto pedestals, knowing very well they're likely to topple off someday, but all the pushes as soon as they're barely settled seems excessive. Maybe it's just me.
Of course, Craig and Nancy were a settled couple, and I've rooted for them since day one. I was a teenager like Chloe back then, and like "Ghoul Girl," I didn't fit the "normal" molds. Neither did Craig and Nancy's romance amidst the others on daytime, but that was the beauty of the couple. They didn't check all the conventional boxes, but they did tick the big ones -- love and trust. They were a solid team. So, if they can make it from high school sweethearts to a secure marriage, there's hope for the other freaks and geeks and underdogs out there, right? They were relationship goals.
While I can congratulate Craig for embracing his truth and all -- so brave! -- I can only hand him a pride flag and point him in the direction of Unicorn Highway. Otherwise, this is just another cheating storyline. He's done Nancy way dirty. Chloe summed it up perfectly by stating, "Respect mom enough to tell her the truth." Preach, Sister Chlomeister. Preach!
Sure. Someday when I don't want to set all of Craig's clothes on fire while singing "Hit 'Em up Style," I'm sure I'll have more sympathy for his plight. Coming to terms with one's sexuality isn't easy. Trust me, I know. Still, there are higher roads that can be taken than blatantly disrespecting that one person who has always been there for you. I get his fears, but he wanted the safety blanket of his marriage to Nancy while he sorted out his feelings, which it seems he has securely sorted, as he's not ready to give up his sidepiece. He even used the L-word. So, I get that his journey wasn't easy, but it's sleazy at the same time. It's entirely unfair to Nancy, made worse by him belittling her feelings when she raised concerns. I guess Craig was always somewhat of a scoundrel, but seeing him use said scoundrel-ness against Nance just doesn't land.
I also worry that the storyline is this year's shock-value "Laura's death." While I didn't witness Gwen push Craig and Nancy's marriage into a desk, I hope we see the true fallout from this and not some occasional updates from Chloe after they've scuttled off-screen to New York again. Play the card or skip the round, but don't play with our hearts unless we can take the full journey together, dear writers.
In other cheating news, Tamara Braun completely crushed Ava's "The Old Me" speech to Nicole. It was chilling, and the depth of Ava's heartbreak and rage was bubbling right under the surface. It was "I Need to Watch That Again" great.
Ava's plan to wreck Rafe is also going great (for now). I know I shouldn't support or encourage her, but I'm totally Team Ava on this one. Rafe (and Allie, for that matter) had outs. Both Ava and Tripp repeatedly asked if they should be concerned about the other's commitment to the relationship. Both Rafe and Allie lied. They continued as a seemingly smitten significant other. So, game on. Wreck 'em, Ava.
Tripp, of course, will likely take the highroad, and I respect that. He's a good dude. I don't want that to change. We need some white hats left in Salem.
Though I will give Rafe and Nicole credit. They're suspicious of Ava. I mean, they're right to be. She's guilty. Though usually characters in their situation are left to look like fools with their mouths open. Them having a clue adds a layer of suspense. It's now more of a catty cat and mouse game.
Oh, and like Craig, Rafe had a realization. That is, he's really into Nicole and wants to be with her. 'Ya think, Commish? I'm glad he embraced his truth, too, but you're still a cheater, dude.
Does that mean Ava should revert to the dark side, though? In real life, I'd always advocate telling the truth and keeping it classy, but that's not much fun on a soap. Plus, after the work Ava did to redeem herself, sure, it's a shame to waste progress, but you really can't blame a person who's been drugged and victimized nearly all her life and just started to trust people like her best friend and boyfriend for having a slipup when she finds out they've been lying and cheating and swapping a stuffed bear back and forth. After all, she'll still love and protect those she loves, but why bother with those she doesn't?
I'd be upset about Xanimal proposing to Gwen if the writing wasn't on the wall. That is, as Kesha would sing, "This place about to blow." The real Slim Sarah is about to stand up. Gwenie will go buh-bye at that point. Maybe. They've been in bed for the better part of their scenes together. Something tells me a "Baby Gander" will come into play at some point. That's just a hunch.
I enjoy that on soaps, a text message that a loved one randomly ran to Boston instead of the other room is normalized. Still, I'm glad Chad called foul by calling Jenny Bear. She has no idea where Abby is, either. So, it looks like Chad is going to have to investigate! This is when I wish Private Eye Paul Narita were still in town -- or his besties, Will and Sonny. Though last time Paul was on an island, he contracted the dreaded Jungle Madness, so, probably best if "Wilson" were his backup. In any event...
Abigail is on "Fantasy Island" with Kristen and Original Recipe Sarah, who is rocking the Daisy Araujo hair again. Love. It. Okay, I suspected it would be Doc Horton, but I savored the slow, soapy reveal. It all has a very vintage vibe to it -- who is the mystery woman in the turret?
Still, there are so many questions remaining! The biggie -- does Sarah even know who the flip she is!? When last we saw her, she was syringed into oblivion during that struggle with Special K. It was pitiful to watch Sarah's mind melt away. So, what's left of it, or did it all return? I'm eager to find out.
I'm also eager for the real Slim Shady, err, Sarah and Abigail to stand up to Kristen, Gwen, and Ava. I mean if Sarah knows who she is and all. Kristen and Rolf might have made her into Princess Gina 3.0 or something. Anything is possible on Gilligan's Island. Whoops. Kristen's Island. And I'm here for Abigail not showing an ounce of fear toward Kristen.
In any event, if Abigail and Sarah can channel their inner Hope and Jennifer and becomes bestie cousins, I'm down with that. I'd also like to see Chad and Xander bond a bit, too. They could use some friends. Maybe they could even invite Brady. He really needs friends.
Another hope I have about that island is -- please, oh please! -- let an alive Adrienne be there. Please. Pretty please, even. Abby would be delighted by that discovery, too! She'd have her aunt and boss at the Spectator back. Justin would be thrilled. I'd be thrilled. Sonny would be thrilled. Sonny's less-important-than-him siblings would be happy. Wins all around. C'mon, island!
Okay. Maybe throw Peter Blake or Andre in there, too, Mr. Island? Huh? I'm asking for too much. Fair. I'll settle for Sarah, Adrienne, and one of those festive drinks for now, please and thank you.
On the topic of catching up with the past, Paulina came face to face with "Dangerous Ray." Or as she calls him "Rotten Ray." He rebranded himself T.R. People who give themselves their own nicknames are sketchy, and T.R. is certainly just that. I loved that Paulina wasn't backing down to him. I cheered when she said, "Keep her name out of your damn mouth." I got your back, Auntie P!
Though I'm disappointed that Paulina didn't tell Lani the truth after Ray Ray McRotten was out of earshot. Like, I'd much rather Pauline and Lani (a kickass detective who knows the entire story) team up, rebuild their bond, and take down T.R. in the process. Instead, Paulina chose to lie...again. I get it. She wants to protect her family. She also probably panicked. As badass as she is now, seeing someone like that stuns you back to the person you were when with them. Add in Lani surprising her, and I kind of get it. Still, c'mon, Auntie P! You have Lani, Abe, Eli, and Julie "Satan Slayer" Williams on your side. You're good.
Also, I love that Paulina took accountability for her own mistakes during her chat with Marlena, whom she didn't easily leave off the hook. That was a great twist to those scenes. I'm sure time will help rebuild that trust. That's sort of the theme right now. The flowers, of course, were a classy touch, too. So, hooray for steps forward!
Speaking of steps in directions. Well. Let's start with stating that, like it or not, Marlena's possession held some gravitas. It's Marlena, after all. She's so woven into the fabric of Salem that we will go to hell and back with her. Twice!
Johnny, on the other hand. Oof. His possession is more muddled. It's not that I don't care for the lad. I'll always remember the little smiley, one-eyed FBI jacket-wearing cutie he once was. Today's Johnny is a hard sell, and his possession only exacerbates his flaws. He's basically a polo shirt with a popped collar and a pastel sweater tied around his shoulders away from being every obnoxious yuppie frat dude in an '80s movie mixed with a little Austin Powers Mini-Me, as he's a horny little bastard, too.
I know she's armed with an ulterior motive, but the devil's desire to do the dirty with Gabi is a bit rapey. By "bit," I mean a lot. It kind of needs to stop.
To end on a happier note, I adored everything Abe last week! That's not a shocker. He's super and super sweet, much like his scenes with Lani and Chanel.
I loved everything about Belle and Shawn versus Trask! That was an awesome display of togetherness and snark. See, stable couples don't have to be boring or need an interloper. Viva la Shelle!
Did you see the strong, sassy "I won't take 'No' for an answer" version of Nancy that basically told Brady she'll do the heavy lifting to get him and Chloe back together if they don't step up? Yeah. THAT is Nancy Wesley, not the insecure, weepy, constantly apologizing shell that we've seen the past few weeks. The only thing Nancy needs to express regret for is not packing fiercer pajamas. Otherwise, she needs to get ready for that karaoke night. She'll need to be showered with all the love and support she can get. And through that, I hope we see stronger and sassier, as she needs never to apologize again.
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Gwen (to Ava): "Oh, come on. You hate Rafe and Nicole so much you're throwing them a dinner party? Lemme guess. You're serving them penne a la strychnine."
E.J. (to Belle): "We DiMeras are always good for clickbait."
I love that Nancy can start a sentence with, "Ever since the two of you were singing duets in the park..."
Not to be greedy, as I'm greatly appreciative of all the extra DAYS content, but I'm a smidge sad and surprised they didn't plan anything for Peacock during the Olympic hiatus. Laurisa and I have suggestions for next time. That's all I'm saying.
Hmm. Belle adjusted E.J.'s tie. Sometimes a tie adjustment is just a tie adjustment, right? Unless it's foreshadowing. There's that possibility. Are we about to add another cheater to our list? I repeat, "Hmm."
I am jealous of Eli! I want to be in DC, visiting Valerie, too. I hope he brings her back for a long weekend. He has two cute bargaining chips to bribe her with, after all. I mean, seriously, that picture of Jules and Carver was 1-800-ADORABLE.
I'm also jealous that Gwen called Claire. Well. I guess that was a lie, but I do miss Claire Bear. Maybe we can swap one affair storyline and catch up with her in Joburg instead.
Hey, T.R.! Please, please call Marlena a "tough old bird" or any other of the ageist slurs you spewed to her face. Better yet, wait until John and/or Kate are around, too. Please, mister creepy pants. Please.
Paulina cracked me up when she said "breaking bad as Beelzebub" to Mar Mar.
Time really does fly in Salem. Tripp's journey from med student to Dr. Johnson was a speedy one. Tripp geeking out over the explanation of Allie's gift was adorable. Though she may regret getting him anything sharp. He is part Vitali, after all.
Flying into the Salem Airfield would scare me to death! It seems to be a landing strip amidst a forest. And there's the occasional exploding car there, too. I think I'll take the train next time.
Dan Feuerriegel rocks.
Paulina's apartment number "227" will never not make me smile. After all, "There's no place like home..."
I was going to suggest we take a shot every time Johnny or someone around him makes a Satan or hell reference, but I think we'd be drunk before hearing, "Like sands through the hourglass..."
Ha! Chad makes the best exits.
Was Nicole "barely" divorced when she began dating E.J.? I'm pretty sure she brought her papers over for him to take a look at.
Can't blame Rafe for yelling at Trask. We've met her.
I love that E.J. has a skincare routine.
During Monday's scenes at the square, was that lady at the flower kiosk eavesdropping? Something seemed off there.
Most couples have that inside joke or phrase that connects them. One of mine with an ex was a line from Poltergeist III because, you know, I'm a romantic like that. Still, it was between us. So many Salemites knowing about Duke seems a little, um, embarrassing at best and cringey at worst. Though I do like Shawn and Eli's expressions when they mention the furry little headless dude.
Also, what was cringier: Johnny's look from the Hugh Hefner collection or his big sword references? Okay. That's easy. It's a tie.
Really, though, I got it! Johnny reminds me of the Saturday Night Live character "A Guy Who Just Bought a Boat." If you've never seen it, YouTube it, my friends. It screams Possessed Johnny.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for January 31. Can you believe we only have four episodes left to hold us over until the Olympics are over!? We must be in store for an epic cliffhanger to hold us until February 21. That also means DAYS has about ten days to do the entirety of Sweeps. Laurisa will be back next week to Two Scoop the hell out of the beginning, but we also plan to keep the party bus rolling with fresh team-up "special edition" content throughout the month.
With that, I'm off to prepare for the holiest of all holy holidays, Groundhog Day! After that I'll be getting ready for the Super Bowl, um, halftime show and then eagerly anticipating what heart-shaped surprises a certain unnamed business mogul will wow me with on Valentine's Day. Oh, amore! I hope everyone is safe, warm, and healthy! And, as always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.